Got a question about Fairtrade?

Find answers to some of the questions that are frequently asked about Fairtrade.


  • What is Fairtrade?

    Fairtrade advocates for decent working conditions, fair prices for farmers, sustainable practices, environmental protection and the empowerment of farmers and workers in developing countries. As Fairtrade requires businesses to pay a fair price to farmers for their crop (acting as a safety net ensuring that farmers never receive less than the cost it took to produce their crop in a sustainable manner), Fairtrade is leveling the playing field for farmers to ensure they can improve their livelihoods and strengthen their businesses.


  • What is fairtrade australia new zealand?

    Fairtrade Australia New Zealand is an independent non-profit organisation that solely licenses the use of the Fairtrade Mark on products in Australia and New Zealand in accordance with internationally agreed Fairtrade standards. Fairtrade Australia New Zealand is a member organisation of Fairtrade International, which unites Fairtrade organisations across Europe, The Americas, Japan, and India and many more, as well as the producer networks of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.


  • What is the FAIRTRADE Mark?

    The Fairtrade Mark is an independent label that indicates to consumers that a product has met internationally-agreed Fairtrade standards. It shows that the product has been certified, and the Fairtrade ingredients in the product have been audited throughout the supply chain. The Fairtrade Mark certifies products, not businesses or brands. Read more


  • Who is Fairtrade International?

    Fairtrade International (formally known as Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International - or 'FLO') is the international body made up of the Fairtrade Foundation and its partner organisations around the world. We’re proud to say it’s 50 per cent owned by the farmers and workers it works for. Fairtrade International is in charge of developing Fairtrade standards for products, supporting farmers and workers, and operating global certification and auditing systems.

    Fairtrade International is based in Bonn, Germany, and is composed of two separate organisations:
     
    1. Fairtrade International eV. is a non-profit multi-stakeholder association. FLO develops and reviews international Fairtrade standards and supports farmers and workers to make the most of market opportunities. Read more at www.fairtrade.net/who-we-are.html

    2. FLO-CERT GmbH is a limited company in charge of the inspection and certification of farmers, workers and traders. It operates independently of any other interests, and follows the international ISO standard for certification bodies (ISO 65). Read more at www.flo-cert.net

  • What do you call companies with fairtrade certified products? 

    If a company develops a product that contains Fairtrade ingredients, and wants to have the Fairtrade Mark on the product, the company will sign a licence agreement with Fairtrade Australia New Zealand entitling them to place apply the Fairtrade Mark to the specific products. By signing this agreement, the company becomes a Fairtrade licensee or may be casually referred to as a Fairtrade partner.

    You can find information on how to become one here.

  • What are Fairtrade standards?

    Fairtrade standards comprise both minimum social, economic and environmental requirements, which producers must meet to be certified, plus progress requirements that encourage the continuous improvement of develop farmers’ organisations or the situation of estate workers. Read more about the standards here: www.fairtrade.net/standards.html

  • What is a Fairtrade certified producer group?

    This is either an association of farmers or a company dependent on hired labour that produces one or more commodities for which there are Fairtrade standards and that has been certified to meet those standards. Once certified, they are added to the Fairtrade product register and registered companies can buy from them under Fairtrade terms.

    Some Fairtrade certified producer groups are able to sell their entire production under Fairtrade terms, while others sell only a very small percentage and badly need more buyers to offer a Fairtrade deal. It is only by increasing the amount sold as Fairtrade that producer groups are able to receive a steady stream of additional income to improve their lives.

  • What is the Fairtrade minimum price?

    The Fairtrade Minimum Price defines the set price that a buyer of Fairtrade products must pay the producer group. The minimum price paid depends on the commodity, and is set based on a consultative process with Fairtrade farmers, workers, and traders that ensures producers receive a fair price that covers what it costs them to grow their crop through sustainable practices. When the market price rises higher than the set minimum price, the trader is required to purchase the crop at the higher price.


  • What is the Fairtrade premium?

    The Fairtrade Premium is an additional investment that is paid on top of the Fairtrade minimum price. Producers can then democratically decide on how it is used to improve the social, environmental and economic conditions in their communities. The Fairtrade Premium is a unique initiative that empowers farmers and workers to improve their conditions and become stronger actors in their supply chains.


  • What's the difference between fairtrade and 'fair trade'?

    The term Fairtrade is used to describe the certification system that ensures farmers are paid a minimum Fairtrade price and Fairtrade Premium for their goods. The Fairtrade system allows consumers to identify goods that have met internationally-agreed Fairtrade Standards; these standards are set to work toward social, environmental and economic sustainability.

    The term Fair Trade is used to refer to the Fair Trade movement as a whole and the organisations that loosely follow the principles of Fair Trade.

    Products that carry the Fairtrade Mark have been independently audited across the entire supply chain. This ensures that the benefits of Fairtrade are delivered to farmers, and that the nature of these benefits are clearly communicated to consumers. There are, however, some companies making their own 'fair trade' claims without having the independent scrutiny of Fairtrade certification. Ask for the basis of these claims, whether benefits are long term and how the community is empowered. If you want to be sure that farmers and workers are receiving the better deal offered by Fairtrade, always look for the Fairtrade Mark.


  • why doesnt fairtrade cover locally grown produce?

    The Fairtrade Mark was established specifically to support the most disadvantaged producers in the world, by leveraging trade as a tool to promote sustainable social, environmental and economic development. While we understand that domestic farmers may face some similar issues, ultimately the infrastructure, labour laws, and social security systems of developed countries like New Zealand and Australia negate the need for a labelling organisation such as Fairtrade. 


  • How many Fairtrade products in are there in australia and new zealand?

    Thousands! We have licensed over 2,500 Fairtrade certified products for sale through retail and catering outlets in New Zealand and Australia.

  • who sets the fairtrade standards?

    The Fairtrade standards are set by the Standards Unit at Fairtrade International and the minimum prices and premiums for each product are included in the product-specific standards available on Fairtrade Internationals website. The consultative process for agreeing international Fairtrade standards follows the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Social and Environmental Labelling, where all stakeholders (including producers) participate in the research process before coming to a final decision.



  • What product categories does Fairtrade certify?

    Fairtrade standards exist for the following products, that are also available in Australia and New Zealand:

    Food products:

    - Bananas

    - Chocolate

    - Coffee

    - Spices

    - Sugar

    - Tea

    - Hot chocolate

    Non-food products:

    - Beauty products

    - Cotton

    - Sports Balls

    - Gold

  • Where can I buy Fairtrade products?

    See our Buying Fairtrade page. You’ll find Fairtrade products in supermarkets, independent shops, cafés, restaurants, through catering suppliers and wholesales, as well as online. 

  • How much of the price we pay for Fairtrade products goes back to the producers?

    Whatever the price of the product on the shelf, only the Fairtrade Mark ensures that the producers have received what is agreed as a fairer price, as well as the Fairtrade premium to invest in the future of their communities. The Fairtrade price applies at the point where the producer organisation sells to the next person in the supply chain (usually an exporter or importer). It is not calculated as a proportion of the final retail price, which is negotiated between the product manufacturer and the retailer.

  • How do I set up a licensee agreement to get my product certified or source a product to be certified?

    Fairtrade Australia New Zealand's Business Development team will guide you through the process. For more information read our For Business section of the website.

  • How can my producer group become Fairtrade certified?

    For producers in Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and the Pacific islands, please contact psr@fairtrade.org.nz. For all other producers, please contact FLO-CERT, via the details are on their website.

  • Can buying Fairtrade products help to tackle climate change?

    Farmers/workers must meet environmental standards as part of certification. Producers are required to work to protect the natural environment and make environmental protection a part of farm management. They are also encouraged to minimise the use of energy, especially from non-renewable sources.


    By choosing Fairtrade, shoppers in Australia and New Zealand are ensuring that farmers and workers receive a Fairtrade premium to invest in economic, social and environmental products of their own choice. It means they can implement a range of environmental protection programmes which contribute to the range of solutions needed to address climate change and ultimately benefit us all. 


    To give two examples, tea workers in India have invested some of their Fairtrade Premium into replacing the traditional wood-burning heating with a solar-panelled system. Coffee farmers in Costa Rica have used the premium to replant trees to prevent soil erosion and have invested in environmentally friendly ovens, fuelled by recycled coffee hulls and the dried shells of macadamia nuts. This means that they no longer need to cut forest trees and so can preserve the rainforest and the oxygen they produce.


    By choosing Fairtrade products, you can help farmers and workers preserve their own environment and allow them to have a positive social benefit in their community.


  • Are Fairtrade certified products also organic?

    Not necessarily. Fairtrade standards require sustainable farming techniques and require higher prices to be paid for organic products. Moreover, Fairtrade Premiums are often used to train producers in organic and sustainable techniques like composting and using recycled materials, which can help them to convert to organic production in the future.